Local news stories affecting the auto body industry in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Maryland, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine
SEMA-supported legislation to provide a 10-year emissions inspection exemption for vehicles never before registered in Pennsylvania or any other jurisdiction was approved by the Senate. The bill now moves to the House Transportation Committee. Current law only exempts new vehicles that have less than 5,000 miles on their odometer for one year after their first registration.
In late October, over 100 friends and family members paid tribute to the 50th anniversary of a fire in Maspeth, NY, that took the lives of six firefighters.
The plaque and dedication ceremony took place at the location of the 50-year-old fire, now home to VIP Auto Body.
“We thought we had it under control,” said John Killcommons, a now-retired FDNY member who was there the night of fire. Killcommons, 78, said he was lucky to make it out that night, stressing that as crews continued to take water to the fire, it just grew brighter and stronger. “That's when the wall came down.”
An auto body and repair service owner in Bedford, NY, faces several criminal charges connected to the alleged fraudulent repair of state police vehicles. Police say Brian Prato, 55, of Bedford, was part of an insurance fraud in which state police cars were repaired with used parts but charged for new ones.
Prato was arrested on Oct. 4. The owner of B&B Auto Body was charged with five felonies and two misdemeanors. He faces grand larceny and insurance fraud charges brought by state and county investigators who allege they uncovered a scheme to defraud the state and the insurance company that covered state police vehicles. Police said an investigation showed Prato charged for new parts but installed used parts, including some from old cruisers no longer used.
An auto body shop in Long Branch, NJ, sustained structural damage from a motor vehicle crash Sept. 23.
The collision occurred at 9:21 a.m., said Long Branch police Sgt. Jorge Silverio. The unidentified driver was not seriously injured and no criminal charges will be filed, Silverio said.
As police investigated the crash, Neptune OEM and Asbury Park’s Special operations crew assessed the structural damaged and worked to temporarily reinforce a damaged support beam inside Auto Body Solutions.
Auto Body Solutions’ employee Brian Leal, 25, said no one was inside the building at the time of the collision.
“After the crash the driver was outside of the car walking around,” Leal said. “He seemed shaken up, but it looked like he was fine.”
Leal said the car crashed into a garage bay door and caused damage to not only a support beam but the two vehicles parked inside the building.
“We just finished painting the one on the lift,” Leal said. “We won’t be able to open until the damage is repaired.”
North State Autobahn Inc., a Westchester-NY-based body shop owned by Greg Coccaro, has been allowed to move forward with its lawsuit that accuses Progressive Insurance Group Company and its affiliates of deceptive acts and practices.
The ruling by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York denied Progressive Insurance’s motion for a summary judgment, allowing the lawsuit filed by the North State Autobahn Inc. to move forward.
This is an important victory for North State against Progressive Northeast Insurance Company, Progressive Casualty Insurance Company, Progressive Direct Insurance Company, Progressive Specialty Insurance Company, and Nicholas Stanton. The result likely creates a case law basis for deceptive acts and practices claims against auto insurance companies that divert policyholders away from repair shops outside their DRP networks.
In a fifteen page decision, the court went into great lengths explaining the history of “Business Law Section 349, Deceptive Business Practices” and the intent of it, writing: “This case presents us with the question of whether a business entity [North State] has stated a valid cause of action for violation of General Business Law §349(h) where it alleges that another business entity [Progressive] deceived and misled prospective customers, causing it to sustain direct economic loss in the form of more than $5 million in lost business sales. We conclude that it does.”
Allegheny County sheriff’s deputies arrived at a body shop the morning of Oct. 1 to evict the last remaining business owner along the Route 28 construction zone.
A court order was issued on Sept. 10, that said should the plaintiff fail to vacate the premises the sheriff is directed to evict or remove the plaintiff.
see prior coverage in Autobody News and to read the rest of this article go HERE
To view a pdf file of this article with photos, click HERE.
Guy Sisson, owner of Sisson’s Body Works in Delevan, NY, spent two years restoring a 1937 Packard Club Sedan for his daughter’s 2010 wedding. Recently, he entered the car in the LKQ Triplett annual calendar contest. With over 300 entries, Sisson’s car made the top 13 finalists and was assured a spot in the calendar. On Sept. 4, Sisson was notified that his car was picked as the Grand Prize winner to be featured on the calendar cover. The grand prize includes an all-expense paid trip to Las Vegas to be recognized at the SEMA show.
The story about Guy Sisson and his 1937 Packard began 25 years ago. A local farmer had bought it from an old farm auction where the vintage car had been stored in a barn. The farmer took it home, tore it apart and quickly realized it was much more than he could handle.
When a hybrid vehicle pulled into Audra Fordin’s repair shop for the first time three years ago, she froze.
The fourth-generation mechanic had spent her life honing her under-the-hood skills, but realized she was ill-equipped for the influx of high-tech, fuel efficient cars that were gaining traction.
to read full story go HERE
Keith and Ken Romig, who own Morgantown Auto Parts, celebrated 25 years in business by offering a free lunch to the public on Sept. 6.
Sandwiches, cold salads, drinks, and snacks were offered under several tents and tables set up in the shop parking lot. Parked cars overflowed onto South Mulberry Street as dozens of patrons came and went. Some were passing through and helped themselves to a soft drink and a scoop of macaroni salad, while others came to enjoy a meal and congratulate the Romigs and their employees on a quarter century of good commerce.
Ken Romig, co-owner and President of the Morgantown NAPA, first began working at the shop at 108 S. Mulberry St. as a summer job between his college classes. Once he finished with school in 1987, Ken, along with his father Lester, purchased the business (then a Big A Auto Parts) from its owner, John Zajac. In 1998 the shop changed to a NAPA franchise and Keith, who was employed at the shop, came in as a co-owner in 1999 following the passing away of Lester Romig. Regardless of the brand on the sign, the Romig’s have always tied a portion of their success to their employee’s experience.